Brown will take Giants places

When Ken Davy decided to announce that, for this season, the Giants were going to offer special discounted tickets in a bid to boost attendances, he must have never dreamt that the uptake would be quite successful.nnFor a club steeped in history, based in the birthplace of rugby league, the loyal fanbase that have followed the Giants has been quite mediocre over the last few years.nnBut those that have renewed or taken up the club’s offer for the forthcoming season, have every reason to be excited about their side’s fortunes on the field.nnBuoyed by their form towards the end of last season, the captures of Nathan Brown as Head Coach, and former Australian State of Origin star Brett Hodgson, who takes over the role of captaincy, the Giants are looking increasingly likely to make significant strides to chase the dream of major silverware.nnBrown is an astute coach and will give them a humongous lift in terms of quality and play. He is perhaps one of the most respected and talented coaches to have come to these shores, and with him at the helm, I expect the Giants to play some exciting rugby.nnThe Giants did manage to get to the Challenge Cup final a few seasons ago, and their recruitment – overseen by Brown – signals their intentions to challenge for something similar again this season.nnHowever, they will have to do it without their major signing Todd Carney, whose off field misdemeanours have meant that he fell victim to the new stringent visa application laws that have come into place.nnThe Giants did try landing Nathan Fien as a last minute replacement only to be turned down by the New Zealand international, perhaps as he did not want to harm his international chances.nnHeading to the Galpharm Stadium though, are Michael Korkidas and Scott Moore who have joined from Castleford and St Helens respectively. Korkidas did not have the best of seasons for the Tigers last year, however has the capabilities to show what he can do when he is on his game and will be an important cog in the large, mobile pack that the Giants possess.nnMoore has been loaned out by St Helens for the time being anyway, following the same process as last year where he joined Castleford temporarily for the whole season.nnSimon Finnigan will also be joining the aforementioned duo, after signing from Bradford. Finnigan is an adequate signing and will offer a bit more stability in the pack.nnHuddersfield did pull off a major coup though by signing exciting prospect Gregg McNally from Whitehaven.nnThe youngster was chased by several Super League clubs, however opted to join the Giants – and while being sent back out on loan to Haven – could return to the Giants should injuries occur.nnThe club have also added depth with other youngsters such as Shaun Lunt and Larne Patrick, who are tipped for the big futures in the game.nnOverall the Giants look more dangerous in the backs and I would have tipped them higher had they recruited a replacement for Carney, however I am not convinced by Kevin Brown at stand-off.nnTheir forward on the other hand look impeccable, and could be a match for any Super League outfit on their day.nnI expect a significant improvement from the Giants this season and to make the top eight comfortably.nnMark’s Final Position Prediction: 7th in the Super League, Challenge Cup Quarter Finalists.nn Key man for 2009: Luke Robinson – The little man is the major part of the Huddersfield juggernaut. If he is on top of his game, Huddersfield can – and will – score lots of points.nn Huddersfield Fan View:n The Huddersfield Fan View is written courtesy of Mick Murphy.nnWell, here we go again on the Huddersfield Giants roller coaster. So far, following the Giants in Super League has been a very up and down affair including a down personally with relegation. nnThis year the rollercoaster ride started early on an high with the cheap season ticket deal which led to a 200% increase in season ticket holders. nnWe were on an up with the signing of Todd Carney then down to earth with a bump when his visa was refused.nnUp again with the signing of Nathan Fien in the bag then down again when he decided to stay in New Zealand.n nSo what have we got left? We have signed lots of exciting youngsters for the academy team in Shaun Lunt and Gregg McNally which suggests a bright future for the Giants. nnWe have signed good attacking players in Brett Hodgson and Simon Finnigan as well as the development of youngsters Michael Lawrence and Danny Kirmond to look forward to. nnIf pre-season is anything to go by some of our older players seem to have been revitalised by Nathan Brown, our new coach, so big things are expected from Eorl Crabtree, Stephen Wild and Luke Robinson. nnWe are expecting lots of attacking rugby , offloading by the forwards and an expansive running game. If it all comes off we will look like the Harlem Globetrotters. If not we will be gifting points to other teams. This season we expect lots of entertaining and high scoring games hopefully with us getting the win. nnWe have a strong pack and a quick, skilful back line. If the half-backs can link up, then top six is a real possibility. If not somewhere between six and tenth position is realistic. nnPersonally i would be happy with a top 8 finish and a good home record to keep the new season ticket holders wanting to come back for more. Whatever happens it is going to be an exciting ride at the Galpharm in 2009.

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